AP NEWS

Bloomberg to speak to Virginia Democrats

February 14, 2020 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg is set to address Virginia Democrats at their biggest fundraising event of the year.

The billionaire former New York City mayor is set to be a featured speaker at the Democratic Party of Virginia’s annual gala Saturday. His campaign is also listed as a top donor to the event on the party’s website.

Bloomberg had made multiple visits to Virginia, which is part of a group of Super Tuesday states that will hold their primary elections on March 3. Bloomberg is skipping the early voting states and focusing on later delegate-rich contests like Virginia, California and Texas in his bid for the Democratic nomination.

Gun control and clean-energy groups affiliated with Bloomberg spent several million dollars last year helping Virginia Democrats win full control of the General Assembly for the first time in more than two decades.

Other presidential candidates are sending surrogate speakers, according to a published list of speakers. That includes Valerie Biden Owen, the sister of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Gov. Ralph Northam and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax are set to speak as well. The Democratic Party of Virginia called on both men to resign last year after a racist picture surfaced in Northam’s medical school yearbook and two women accused Fairfax of sexual assault, which he denies.